Have you ever been in a position where you simply felt like a "hired hand?"
You were called upon to do all of the grunt work, to keep quiet, and to do your job without causing anyone else any trouble. You felt alone and isolated. When you were around "those in charge" you felt like you were the warm body who only did the things that no one else wanted to do.
That's a bad feeling.
I think it's even worse when you are in a position of leadership and you work in such a way that your teammates begin to feel that way.
A good leader will get people involved.
A better leader will get people involved with significant work.
A great leader will get people involved with significant work that develops more leaders.
Here's the punchline:
Your team wants to be treated as leaders with value and potential.
Student leaders start to operate out of the "hired hand" mentality when they see people as a means to accomplish a task. But that's not leadership, that's simply herding resources. A student leader begins to operate as a leader when he or she sees the tasks before them as a way to invest in and develop their people into better leaders.
Leaders developing other leaders...that's the key.
Here's three ways you can show your teammates that they're more than just people who are there to help you get your stuff done:
The relationship shows that you accept them for who they are more than for what they can do.
2. Be willing to and express your willingness to give them your time.
Your time is your greatest resource. If you spend time with them, it shows them that you see them as important.
3. They need to see, feel, and believe that you value them as someone who is capable of making a significant contribution.
Your teammates want to do something that's meaningful just as much as you do. Connect their contribution to the accomplishment of the team's vision and goals. Help them to see how their contribution is a vital piece to the whole puzzle.
As the leader, you set the tone. Focus on the people doing the tasks more than the tasks done by people and you'll be amazed at how much more your team accomplishes.
Flickr photo credit: erin kate